Yes. That’s right. I have bought a LOT of books since Christmas, and I’m a little bit in love with each and every one of them. A fair number of these you’ll have already seen from various TBRs and reviews, as I’ve already read a good number of them!
Yes. That’s right. I have bought a LOT of books since Christmas, and I’m a little bit in love with each and every one of them. A fair number of these you’ll have already seen from various TBRs and reviews, as I’ve already read a good number of them!
So I’ve gone a little classics mad as of late. Since the start of December I have acquired quite a number. I received a good number of book tokens for my birthday at the end of November and a fair amount at Christmas, combined with relatives who are now no longer trying to not buy me books I’ve been very happy. I also was lucky enough to win a book token of £50 for my local store, Jarrold where I added to the classics!
So, I bought a lot of Clothbound Classics this past few months. I have more than doubled my already quite large collection. First off I purchased the Dickens collection from Amazon – it was in their flash sales at £40 and with student discount I really couldn’t say no. I already had a copy of A Christmas Carol which was a gift a few years ago and I have gifted that to a family member.
The set contained Bleak House, Oliver Twist, Hard Times, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations and, as I said, A Christmas Carol.
Then, between birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, and gifts to myself I added a few more to the collection. Tess of the D’ubervilles was a present from my grandmother, my parents (mum) bought Far From the Madding Crowd because she liked the bees on the cover! I preordered The Tenant of Wildfell Hall back in November when it was first announced as a clothbound edition as I loved the book and really wanted to add it to my collection.
The Woman in White was a bargain – I found it in an Oxfam shop for £5. It was a little battered but I couldn’t say no at that price! War and Peace was an impulse buy. I went in Waterstones to buy a paperback edition of Frankenstein and came out with that. I loved Anna Karenina so I decided it was definitely a good purchase even though I have a paperbakc somewhere… I want to read this this Summer for certain! Finally there is Dracula. I love Dracula and have been lusting after this edition for quite some time. When I won the gift voucher I decided that buying it was acceptable.
Penguin owns my heart. I also went a little mad with PEL editions. What you’ll notice here is I have some duplicates. There are some books I own as Clothbound here. I’m not going to lie, I like to have collections in both and I do find a paperback easier to read. Essentially, I collect the clothbound editions as pretty objects and the paperbacks as functional objects.
So, since December I have accumulated these. Jane Eyre, Hard Times, The Sign of Four, Daniel Deronda, North and South, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Frankenstein, The House of Mirth and finally, A Room with a View.
Daniel Deronda was the one I paid a bit for. I have discovered a love of George Eliot and Daniel Deronda is pretty much impossible to find new. This edition was about £10 from Ebay and I really don’t regret it. I also purchased another book with it from the same seller for about £2.50 so it averaged out at the £6 a book I would ordinarily pay for them.
Finally the very little popular fiction I acquired. It’s a very small pile indeedy. I purchased The Chimes and The Buried Giant with the voucher I won. I really want to reread The Buried Giant as I didn’t much care for it initially but it’s a book which has stuck with me quite a bit so I’m interested to see if my opinion of it changes on a reread.
I also picked up some charity shop bargains in the shape of Kitchen, Collected Stories of Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Poor Things.
What can be drawn from this haul is I’m going to be reading a lot of classics in the near future and I’m very excited about that!
This is a fairly chunky haul, not only that I feel I’ve forgotten a huge number of books I did buy since July (when I did my previous haul). I also realise, looking back on it, that I’ve included one book in here that I included in that. Oops.
I’ve been at it again! I really ought to stop, and I will. Soon. But July is at a close and while I promised, promised myself I would ease up on the book buying I seem to have failed spectacularly. Some of these books have actually been sat on my shelf for quite some time and I have simply forgotten to haul them. But without further ado, let me show you the damage that has been done in July!
So at the start of the month I actually went to an event at my local Waterstones store. Peer pressure paid off because I got to see Emma Healey and M.O. Walsh in conversation. I have read and reviewed Elizabeth is Missing not so long ago but M.O. Walsh was a completely unknown author to me until the event. I completely forgot to blog about it so consider this the event overview. It was great. Emma had never ‘hosted’ before and she did a cracking job of it, it has to be said. We had a brief interlude of singing from Mr Walsh (who’s name I have forgotten, that is so awful!) I’m yet to read his novel but I’m very much looking forward to it. It seems quite interesting so we shall see. Anyway, it was a fantastic evening and I actually intend to start going to the book group because I met a couple of people there who inspired me!
Also in the general, literary fiction category we have another recommendation from Ben at Waterstones in the shape of After Me Comes the Flood – again, this is one I know very little about but was inspired to pick up because I give in to peer pressure. On the top is a gift from my friend Sar – we met in London on the 20th and she finally gave me my Christmas gift. She knows my love for Ali Smith and gifted me with the gorgeous Penguin anniversary edition (I think it was for their 75th). Finally we have a bargain in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit as I picked this up today for a whopping 50p. It’s pretty much brand new too! Result.
The next pile is my classics. From the top we have two charity shop buys – Ted Hughes Crow and finally my own edition of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie which I first read in a book group because of Cait a good number of years ago.
The remainder of these were bought in London. Sar and I met at Platform 9 and 3/4, naturally. It was actually the first mutual station between our inbound trains so it was also a good plan. In Kings Cross there is Watermark Books, which is very sadly closing down soon. Anyway, in there I picked myself up The Persephone Book of Short Stories. It doesn’t have the bookmark but hey ho! After that we went to a few other bookshops, where I was restrained but I was saving myself for the Persephone store. It is truly beautiful, I did fall a little bit in love. In there I picked up their 3 for £30 deal – I picked up The Montana Stories by Katherine Mansfield, No Surrender by Constance Maud and finally Flush: A Biography by Virginia Woolf.
The bottom book, another edition of Orlando, is a very beautiful hardback that Sar treated me to in Foyles. I should have hugged her longer for that!
Some fantasy-ish stuff now! These are relatively self explanatory. I want to get more in to fantasy as I think when I’m in it I will love it, so when I saw the first two books in the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson in a charity shop for 50p each, I bought them. Simple. Don’t know what to expect but I think I may read these pretty soon.
On the bottom is a beautiful, beautiful book that I have had my eye on for quite some time. I was out with a friend and we happened to dive in to a little antiquarian bookshop on Elm Hill in Norwich. Elm Hill has been used in a number of movies including Stardust and it is all medieval and beautiful. Anyway, I saw this Philip Pullman book and I fell in love – the fact it was only £7.50 made the deal a little sweeter! I shall definitely be heading back to The Dormouse Bookshop in the future as they have far too many pretty books!
Finally we have the non fiction. Two of these were bought in London also – on the top we have Nature via Nurture by Matt Ridley. I’ve read a book or two by him in the past and, I saw this in Daunts books but refused to pay £9.99 for it then walked 3 minutes down the street and found it in Oxfam for £2.
Then we have two Penguin books; one in the orange spine-pretty cover editions by Brian Cox. I’m not a physics kind of girl – I hate anything maths and physics without context so I’m hoping Brian will sweeten the deal a bit. Then we have another of the Penguin Anniversary editions in the non-fiction blue. I’ve been wanting to read this book for some time even though I know little about it – it’s one that has always caught my eye in the non-fiction section of the bookshops! These were all bought in charity shops, which ones I can’t remember!
Phew. That seems like a lot of books. That’s a lot of books? That’s not including the few eBooks I bought and the 3 audiobooks that I downloaded… Oops. I really need to curb my book buying.
If there are any of these that you’ve read and recommend please share as I’d really like to know where to start!
So, if by some chance you missed it, last week was Independent Bookshop Week 2015. It ran between the 20th and 27th of June and was a big celebration of all the independent bookshops in the UK. It is an event that encourages people to visit, and shop, at their local independent bookshop and just raise that awareness that they are there.
Anyone that knows me knows that I love independent bookshops – I’m lucky in that where I live in the UK the independent bookseller hasn’t been killed off. Nearly every town on the outskirts of the city has an bookshop, even the city centre the independent shops withstand the pressures of the Waterstones within 100 metres (which I also love, even though it is a chain it still has that personal feel for me, which is why I visited it).
I was actually on holiday this year for IBW2015. I was hoping that being in a different part of the country I would be able to stumble upon new gems of bookshops and find something different to take home with me. This however wasn’t the case, it was rare to stumble upon a Waterstones never mind an independent shop! So this left me very disheartened and the image I had in my head of how my holiday and, consequently, my IBW2015 were going to go was shattered!
To remedy this sadness I felt, when I returned the first thing I did (after a long lay in) on Saturday was to hit Norwich City centre and go in to the two independent bookshops there (and Waterstones) and I ended up buying quite a bit (and not buying even more that I wanted to!)
I really cannot wait for this crazy exam period to be over because I’ll no longer feel the compulsive need to buy books in order to relax. I don’t understand why I do it. Maybe it’s simply that books make me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside and that, in turn, releases endorphins. I don’t know. All I do know is I have bought too many books again this month. Though, they’re all books that I’ve been wanting to buy and, in fairness, a lot of them were bought with points/credit in various places so… not quite so much money spent!
These books are pretty varied, from impulse buys to those that I bought after a lot of debate. Some I have already read in the past but didn’t own a copy of.
I bought a number of classics as I really want to get a lot of them read over the Summer. Also, Penguin English Library editions are a great way to boost a buy up in price over the £10 limit that generally gets a stamp on a card in most bookshops! Then there’s also a bit of non-fiction there, I want to also read a fair bit of that over the Summer to keep my mind active! Anyway, on with the books themselves because that’s the important part.
I’m a stress buyer. Naturally, as April was a month in which I have had several pieces of coursework and exams starting I bought some books. A lot of books actually. £90 worth of books. Oh dear. Though, I am very happy as all the physical books I have bought this month I have bought in bookshops, two of which are independent. So I think I can say that I have injected £90 in to the local economy, right? I can feel good about that.
So I felt like buying classics. The majority of this haul is classics truthfully. I’m hoping to read a lot of classics next month too.
I indulged in a couple of Persephone books this month. I’m lucky in that Norwich has two amazing independent book shops that stock a really good selection of Persephone – The Book Hive and Jarrolds department store. So having loved Orlando, I decided to pick up Leonard Woolf’s The Wise Virgins just to see if Mr Woolf wrote as well as his wife. This is a semi-autobiographical look in to his marriage with Virginia so I was really interested by this. Also I bought Saplings by Noel Streatfeild. I adored Ballet Shoes so when I saw this I decided I absolutely had to buy it. It seems to be a WWII story told through the eyes of some children, it seems quite sad but cozy at the same time which is what I need right now
Next up is my Penguins this month. Why on earth has Agnes Grey not been published as a PEL edition? Surely that’s discrimination?! #JusticeForAnneBronte. Anyway, I bought Agnes Grey because I loved The Tenant of Wildfell Hall last September. It seems very Bronte (governess) and if the other book is anything to go on, I’m going to love this. Then there’s some Austen – I’m determined to get in to Austen – so I went for Mansfield Park as it seems to be a lesser talked about novel (and it was in the waxy PEL editions, not the papery ones!). The skinny one there is George Eliot’s Silas Marner which I actually picked up as soon as I stood at the bus stop on my way home; I thought it would be a good idea before Middlemarch! Finally, Little Dorritt by Dickens. I enjoyed The Old Curiosity Shop so decided to add this to my collection as, at £5.99, it is a bargain!
That’s a lot of classics. Now on to the general fiction. I picked up the first book here (Strange Weather in Tokyo) in a complete whim because it’s short, by a Japanese author and was £1 in the Oxfam Bookshop! I know very little about it other than that.
Kazuo Ishiguro is next. He did his MA in Creative Writing at UEA, you know? Anyway, I picked this up in the Oxfam bookshop too. There’s The Remains of the Day which I’ve only heard good things about, a lot of people say it’s better than Never Let Me Go and then there’s Nocturnes which I believe is his short story collection. These were a whim simply because I loved Never Let Me Go and would like to read more of his work.
The Goldfinch was also found in Oxfam and I picked it up because I did enjoy The Secret History recently and wanted to read this at some point anyway. The main reason I read The Secret History first is a lot of people said that you should – whether or not this is true is something else.
Finally there’s Maddaddam which is the conclusion to the series Atwood wrote. This is signed. I can’t quite believe it myself but it is. She was in Norwich for a while, I believe she was camping out in the attic of The Book Hive and casually signed some books while she was there. So I’m hoping to get to this in the near future.
Lastly is the non-fiction. There is a distinct theme here! This month I bought three eBooks – A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstencraft, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay and We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche (which I have already read). I bought We Should All Be Feminists as a whim because I felt like reading it at 10pm one night and the other two were recommended based on that purchase by Amazon and I just couldn’t say no…
I also couldn’t resist buying a copy of My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst. I’m really looking forward to the movie (Suffragette) which is out later this year and I think this is a really key book for me to read as a female who is intending to vote this year in the General Election. I didn’t do history at GCSE so I’m looking forward to this from a number of perspectives; feminist, political and historical.
So, April was a pretty expensive month. I’m thinking May will have to involve a book buying ban for sure. I need to get through so many books! Tell me if you’ve read any of these and what you think because I would love to hear your opinions!
So I’ve sort of procrastinated doing this post because I have an embarrassingly large number of books to haul. So basically, I was really good from September, very few books were purchased however from January, I seem to have acquired a vast quantity of bookish goodness. So I don’t really know where to start, they’re all jumbled up, there’s no chronology to this whatsoever, I just made them look pretty in piles! This is going to be long so I apologise in advance!
We’ll start with the general fiction I purchased the last few months. After reading Oryx and Crake I decided to buy the next book in the series from Atwood – I haven’t read this yet but I’m looking forward to it. Next up we have two books by Emma Donoghue – I previously owned The Sealed Letter in a large paperback which was too bulky so I bought the standard paperback when I saw it for about £1 in a charity shop and I picked up her newest book Frog Music in (quite shamefully) Tesco along with another book further along in this haul in their 2 for £7 offer. Finally we have my additions that I got in the buy one get one half price in Waterstones on campus; Elizabeth is Missing and Station Eleven. I’ve already read Station Eleven and my review can be found around here somewhere!
So I put these 4 books together as they have the theme of “not set in UK or America”. I’ve previously read Memoirs of a Geisha but I didn’t own a copy! So I remedied that as I would love to reread it. Sea of Poppies I admit was an impulse purchase because I just adored the cover. It is beautiful and I have no idea what it is about. The Kite Runner is a book I have long since wanted to add to my collection as I loved Hosseini’s other two novels so I found this for £1.99 in a bargain bookstore and I couldn’t resist! Finally, I’ve heard good things about Zafón so I decided to pick this up when I found it for 50p in a charity shop in good condition.
Whoops. This is a little blurry! So The Secret History is a book I have heard nothing but good things about and, as I type this, I am 100 pages in to it and enjoying it so far. I picked this up as the other book in the 2-for-£7 in Tesco. Below that is Sister by Rosamund Lupton which is a book I’ve heard a lot about from a number of places. It’s not something I would ordinarily pick up so we shall see how I feel about it! IT was only 50p so if I don’t like it I don’t feel too guilty!
Ali Smith time. So I’ve read a lot of these but the cost of them meant that I borrowed a lot of them from the library or owned the eBook. As I was going to the literary festival event I felt it was about time I invested in them. Over the course of February and March I managed to almost complete her bibliography, I don’t own the play she wrote and possibly one other thing but this is it and it looks beautiful together on the top of my bookshelf! Artful, There but for the, Free Love and Like I bought from various sellers on Amazon. Other Stories and The First Person I bought at the signing on the 17th!
Non-fiction time! I read and reviewed Quiet within days of buying it. It is amazing and is seriously worth checking out for anyone of any personality type. It is enlightening, both about introversion/extroversion and corporate America
Yes. My classics this haul comprise of a running theme. Virginia Woolf. I love Mrs Dalloway and I had an Amazon voucher come my way so I snapped up a few of these Penguin Modern Classics. I love the modern classics. I love the uniformity on my shelf. They look beautiful. So I’m intending to lose myself in some of these soon! I bought To the Lighthouse, Orlando, Mrs Dalloway and The Waves. I already have a copy (or 3) of Mrs Dalloway but I wanted a uniform collection.
Finally, we have the Little Black Classics that I bought. These are the 80p books that Penguin released for their 80th anniversary. Over the course of the few weeks they’ve been released I’ve managed to indulge myself in 23 of them and I don’t think I’ll be buying any more. I’m yet to read any of these but I’m really, really excited to get started on them.
Okay. So that’s my winter book haul. I’m thinking I bought more books. I must have. Anyway. If anyone could suggest which books I should start with definitely point me in the right direction!
I’m so glad I finally read A Christmas Carol properly this year! I’ve skim-read it in the past but never actually settled down with it and read it properly as I did this Christmas. It’s a story I think everyone and their Aunt are familiar with; I grew up with the varying movies – Alastair Sim, Albert Finney, Patrick Stewart and of course The Muppets! It’s my mum’s favourite movie, it’s one that isn’t exclusive to Christmas either now. But I don’t understand why I’d never read the book when the story is such an integral part of my childhood.
Anyway, I curled up with this (and a bottle of rum) at about half past 10 Christmas Eve and finished just before midnight. Quite appropriate if I do say so myself. And I loved it. It’s definitely one that should be read in one sitting; and as close to Christmas as possible for me. Also, I think that it will be a little tradition that I start that I read it Christmas Eve as it doesn’t take a particularly long time to read.
Most of the movies do this justice, even the Muppets stick to the main story! But in reading it there is such depth to the writing that you can feel snow underfoot and the crispness of the air and I think there is a power to the written word that you just don’t quite get even with the magic of movies. I just loved it. There wasn’t really any surprises as between the varying adaptations you get the full story in one way, shape or form. But still the book was just amazing and has that little something that just makes it superior to the movies.
I have to say, in reading it properly (opposed to just skimming it as I did a few years ago) I so want to read more of Dickens work next year. I’m going to try for at least 3 of his works – so yes, there’s a Reading Resolution for 2015! I just love his writing and I’m determined to love it even more.
Definitely a must for Christmas in my eyes! I’m sad I wasn’t introduced to it properly sooner, that I wasn’t encouraged to read it sooner, but I think it just makes it all the more amazing to read now!
I may have gone a little crazy this month. Between meeting Sar, going on holiday and discovering a couple of beautiful little bookshops, I may have bought too many books. 39 actually. Or 41 if I include the two textbooks I bought and nearly 50 if you include the few cook books I picked up. Oops? So this is a post in which I go through them quickly. I’m not going to include too many pictures as I think nearly 40 is a bit extreme. Six of these books were covered in a previous post at the start of the month (Book Haul II) – so I’ll not include them. Instead, I am going to start from my holiday – which began on the 5th of September.
These were the books I bought on holiday. I’ve read What’s Left of Me and The Hours. But both I own as kindle editions and really wanted to own a physical copy as they’re books I loved. The others were all books that I’ve heard good things about or have wanted to read for a while. The Hours – Michael Cunningham The Moon and Sixpence – W. Somerset Maugham The Hive – Gill Hornby The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton Les Miserables – Victor Hugo Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie What’s Left of Me – Kat Zhang Where’d You Go Bernadette – Maria Semple Moranthology – Caitlin Moran I’m really looking forward to eventually reading all of these books. The Luminaries and Les Mis are obviously going to be two that take a long, long while to get through! A few of these were recommended books from the reading challenge I take part in (previously have been book club books or the like, so are worth double points!) which is my reasoning for picking books like Where’d You Go Bernadette up. Also, I enjoyed How to Be a Woman and I’ve had a few people tell me that Moranthology is an absolute must to read so – Yay!
Coming back, if you follow me on twitter or read this blog, you’ll know that I fell in love with a bookshop. Here I bought a new edition of Rebecca. But when my loan went in I returned to Wymondham to have a little explore of the shop and I picked up a few books. How to Be Both, Frankenstein and East of Eden – all three which are books that were on my ‘to buy’ list anyway. But being able to pick them up in this cute wee indi bookshop made me feel less guilty. I also signed up to be a friend of the bookshop, meaning I get 10% off all purchases there. My resolution is to buy all the new books that I want there, rather than somewhere like waterstones or the like. Their philosophy is that if we bought 1 in 4 of our books at an independent bookshop then everything is good! So I’m going to try that. Currently I’m reading How to Be Both, and Frankenstein is going on next months TBR. East of Eden is a book I’ve wanted to read for a while. To be honest, I’ve been feeling this urge to revisit Steinbeck as I enjoyed Of Mice and Men before I had to dissect it! So I’m really looking forward to all three of these! While I was in Wymondham, I went on a little walk to explore the surroundings and stumbled upon a little antiquarian/second hand bookshop. I hate the term ‘second hand’, I much prefer ‘preloved’. Anyway, I went in (as you do) and may have had a little accident? This preloved place was just amazing. It smelt so good. Finding all of these beautiful books in the back just made it so much better. I love places that sell second hand/preloved because they’re just magic – you never know what you’re going to find and I love that anticipation. I’ve been wanting to read some Hemingway for a long while; The Old Man and the Sea has been sat on my bookshelf for years and it’s about time I rectify that. So a nabbed a couple more because these editions are just so tiny and cute! Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World was picked up after a friend actually recomended it to me the day before. Steinbeck and du Maurier are self explanatory (read: require no justification). Next up is Charity Shop Haulage post-holibobs. This was quite successful too. Having enjoyed Notes on a Scandal I picked up another Zoe Heller book. The top book there is Wild Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. Having seen them in YouTube videos, I decided to pick up the first 3 books in the Percy Jackson series when I spotted them! I was really surprised when I found Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children in a charity shop though – and it’s in mint condition. Result. Then for Helen of Troy – I read Cleopatra by Margaret George and really enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to maybe sinking my teeth in to this next summer! The Birds, The Bees and Other Secrets is an impulse buy that I bought along with it in a 2 books for £1 offer! I bought a few more Vintage classics besides Revolutionary Road. Throughout the month I’ve also picked up The Three Musketeers and Catch-22. Neither of these appear to be on my Goodreads list so that takes the fiction haul past 40 books this month! Also this month I attended a customer evening at Jarrolds department store – 10% off of everything. Result. Naturally my first stop was the basement where their book selection is. I had my eye on a couple of hardbacks, and knowing they had events with both David Mitchell (the author, not Mr Victoria Coren) and Clare Balding while I was on holiday, I was hoping that they may have some signed editions in stock. And they did. So I nabbed myself a signed edition of The Bone Clocks and a signed edition of Walking Home. I mentioned Clare in a tweet, saying I had a lovely evening and I received a lovely tweet in reply which resulted in possibly the highlight of my Summer. I can’t wait to get in to it! My last 2 books I have to justify. So I bought 2 textbooks in waterstones, now they do 10 points per £1 for students, my points balance is soaring quickly upon the purchase of textbooks at £55-£70 each. Not only that but you get a stamp for every £10 you spend so… I sort of filled a card up when I bought 2 textbooks and I ended up with about £10 on my card so I decided to indulge myself and buy two more of the Virago Modern Classic hardback du Mauriers. Aren’t they pretty? Especially with Rebecca pride of place on top of them. So yes. I think I’m going on a self imposed Book Buying Ban of sorts after this month… I really have no restraint.